Kengo Kuma is one of the most prominent Japanese architects. He was born in 1954 in Yokohama, Japan. After going to Eiko Gakuen junior and senior high schools he joined University of Tokyo and graduated in 1979. In 1987 Kuma commenced the “Spatial Design Studio” and soon launched his own office in 1990 with the name “Kengo Kuma & Associates“. He is regarded as one of the most popular contemporary architects of Japan concerned with reviving and revitalizing the traditional Japanese values and customs by blending them well with modernistic approach of current time. Kuma promotes the idea of drawing inspiration from surroundings and context of the project to eliminate the chances of alienation of building on its site. Kuma’s firm Kengo Kuma and Associates has its offices in Tokyo, Paris and Bejing with a staff of 220. Currently Kuma is teaching at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Tokyo and also carrying out various research projects in his personal laboratory, Kuma Lab. Major topics related to his researches are architecture, urbanism and design. Kengo Kuma won 2016’s “Global Award for Sustainable Architecture”.
He graduated at the University of Genoa in 1999. Prior to founding SBGA in Milan, from 2001 to 2005, he collaborated with Fuksas firm contributing to internationally known projects like the competition for the headquarter Canal+ in Paris, the congress centre “La Nuvola” in Rome and the Master-plan of the Maserati area in Milan. In 2006, he becomes a member of the Libeskind firm. He was active both from the New York and Milan bases and worked closely with Daniel Libeskind on innovative projects of urban and architectural renewal. Some of them are the Master plan of the CityLife area of Milan, the Vanke China Co. for Expo Milan 2015, the Expo Gates for Siemens at Expo Milan 2015 and the Project Area Tor di Valle in Rome. He was the Technical Director of Libeskind Design Milan and he is teaching at the Sapienza University in Rome and in the Universities of Turin, Vienna, Genoa, Milan and Florence. He is often invited to international conferences as relator.
Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Urko Sanchez began his architectural studies in 1988. Urko Sanchez has a wealth of experience, having travelled extensively and accomplished projects in multiple contexts. Urko uses his broad experience to craft an innovative and versatile architectural outlook for every unique project.
Based in Kenya and Spain, Urko Sanchez Architects, is an award-winning architectural firm renowned for excellence in design and selected among the best practices in Africa. the firm has undertaken projects throughout East Africa, Europe and MiddleEast.
In addition, the firm is deeply committed to environmental stewardship, and for each project, the team considers the cultural roots of the structure, and how the building will be best integrated into its environment: the view, the indigenous materials, and the flow of the surroundings.
Diana A. López Caramazana was born in Valladolid (Spain) in 1974. She obtained her BA on Political Sciences at the University of Granada and studied International Relations at the Robert Schuman University in Strasbourg (France), obtaining a Diploma at the Institute for Political Studies (IEP). As a graduate she attended AMLOG (Advanced Management of Local Governance) at the University of Birmingham (UK) leading to her MSc on Public Service Management. She has been dedicated to issues related to local governance and the role of local governments in international development since 1997 when she started working at the UN System as Information Manager at the International Labour Organisation – ILO, providing expertise on local economic development for local governments in Latin America. In 2003 she was detached by the ILO to the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, contributing to build tools for economic internationalisation for Italian regional governments. In 2006 she moved to UN-HABITAT, the UN Programme for Human Settlements, where she was Head of the Spanish Office for Best Practices and Local Leadership until 2010, working mainly on the promotion of decentralisation and in city-to-city co-operation. She was Special Assistant of the Executive Director of UN-Habitat from 2010- 2013 when she moved back to work in the field of local governance. She is actually Head of the Local Government and Decentralization Unit at UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi, where she works in areas related to the role of local governments in achieving the SDGs, urban governance, transparency and open local government and innovation in municipal management and finance. Recently, she has been member of the Steering Committee of the London School of Economics research on “New urban governance” and reviewer of the 2018 World Public Sector Report. She is fluent in Spanish, English, Italian and French, with some knowledge of Arabic and Portuguese.
Diana Lopez Caramazana
Diana Lopez Caramazana
Jean Paul Sebuhayi Uwase & Noella Nibakuze
Jean Paul Sebuhayi Uwase joined MASS in 2011 as an intern and then in 2013 as Associate. Having been educated in the first class of architects in Rwanda where the numbers are still quite small, he believes that everyone deserves to experience beautiful design. Thus, his first duty is to best serve the community. Jean Paul holds an award for the best performing student in Architecture at the former Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) now. College of Science and Technology (COSTEC). As his first career practice, he worked with MASS while he was still a student and after he graduated, he began working on projects that create a positive impact on the community. His current projects include Malawi Maternity Waiting Village and the One Acre Fund Headquarters in Kenya.
Noella Nibakuze joined MASS in February 2017. She is currently working with the ADC fellowship program, which opened its doors in September 2016. Prior to joining MASS she worked for various architectural firms both in Rwanda and South Africa. She received both her B-tech and M-tech degrees in Architecture at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa, where her thesis focused on environmentally friendly design through a post occupancy evaluation of a Green Star SA certified building.